Bahrain’s Women Pioneers: HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa
March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
On December 7, 2011, one of Bahrain’s most esteemed female leaders, Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, honored the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Council for Women. During a speech at the opening ceremony, President of the Council Her Royal Highness reached out to women across the country, praising them for their courageous involvement in national development. She said, “Women alone possess the willpower to change, the will to partake and eagerness to learn and love of exerting efforts, for the best interest of the motherland.” She then went on to discuss various reformative projects the Council helped implement over the years and the amazing progress Bahraini women have made in politics and business.
Through Princess Sabeeka’s work as its chair, Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Women steadfastly advocated for a united family law to progressively expand women’s rights in the Kingdom.
By acknowledging the importance of female empowerment for economic and social development within the country, Her Royal Highness has taken women a step further in society. She has devoted herself to the cause for the last ten years, tirelessly pushing for change. In 2002, she actively encouraged women to vote in Bahrain’s inaugural parliamentary elections. Then, in June 2005, she hosted the first ladies of the Arab world in Bahrain for the second meeting of the Higher Council of Arab Women Organisation.
Further, Her Royal Highness the Princess helped to advance women’s rights through her role as chief patron of the Society for Women and Children of Bahrain and her participation with the United Nations General Assembly. She addressed topics such as Children, the way women affect the life of family and the community and reform during such meetings. Princess Sabeeka is also the patron of a wide number of organizations and events in Bahrain including “Fight Cancer” and the Sheikh Ibrahim Cultural Center.
Her Royal Highness also oversaw the development of an entrepreneurship program for women in 2010, known as Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Scheme. The project was sponsored by Tamkeen and supported up to 400 women entrepreneurs through micro-finance loans. The recipients were awarded between BD200 and BD5,000 to assist them with home-based businesses and small enterprises.
Her Royal Highness was more recently seen at the forefront of implementing National Dialogue recommendations and integrating women’s needs in the Government’s plan through Equal Opportunity Units. According to Her Royal Highness the Princess, these units were a practical mechanism for making sure the National Dialogue reforms and the recommendations concerning women’s rights were implemented.
Her ability to leverage her role as President of the Council and wife of His Majesty King Hamad has been both monumental and inspirational. Through her efforts, Her Royal Highness has helped people see the positive impact women have on the community and has significantly influenced women to become more involved in politics and business.